Many of us struggle to deal with change — and ironically enough, change is the only constant in life. The human brain finds comfort in order and patterns. From an evolutionary perspective, constants help us feel safer, because we know when and where we get food and water from, we know which locations are safe for us to be in. This sense of certainty helps us survive.
And so naturally, when change occurs and shifts our way of life, perspective and constants, it can be like you don’t have the ability to cope and things become overwhelming.
However, humans are resilient creatures. And change can bring about a better future. That doesn’t mean your struggle isn’t valid — change is hard to process. But there are a few steps you can take to help make that process easier and less taxing on you.
Take Helpful Steps to Deal with Loss
When change happens, most of the time we are dealing with a loss of something. It could be a friend, a place, a job or even a routine. Sometimes even good change, like graduating or moving to a new place with your partner, can feel a little bit sad. It is important to acknowledge the loss and let yourself process the grief you feel from it.
If you are having a rough day, it is ok to take some time. If you are really struggling, talk to a counsellor or seek professional therapy to help you deal.
Seek Support from Those Around You
It’s easy for us to sink into our grief alone. However, this is when you most need the support and love from those around you. Even if it’s something like helping you prepare a meal for a weekend, or needing to take some time off work, communicate your feelings and needs to those around you. You’ll be surprised at how willing people can be to make space and adjustments to help you out.
Having a support group to vent to is also helpful, especially if they are also going through something similar. You don’t want to get bogged down in the negatives; however, it is good to release your frustrations and work together with people on ways you can get past this.
Look to The Things in Your Control
When there’s so much change happening, it can feel like nothing matters and there’s no way out of this situation. So, it is important to take a few moments to evaluate the things you can control in your current situation.
Ask yourself, “What can I take responsibility for right now?” or “What is one thing I can do to make this situation easier to handle?” Your goal is to look for opportunities to give yourself empowerment and the ability to act. When you set your focus on one thing you can do, it can help ease the feeling of being stuck.
Take Care of Yourself
Getting caught up in all the emotions running around in our head, we tend to neglect taking care of ourselves. Sometimes it’s the simple, almost mindless tasks that can help us from spiralling even further.
Try a proper sleeping schedule and start your mornings with a cup of tea or coffee. Then, add a simple exercise routine to your day, two or three times a week. Exercise is great for your physical health and mental well-being.
Following on from that, ensure you have good, nutritious food in your diet. It can be tempting to reach for chocolates, cookies and ice cream (which you can definitely do!) but don’t forget to add some spinach, almonds and oranges while you’re at it.
When you take the time to care for yourself and offer yourself a bit of compassion, it gives you the space to relax and function a little bit better.
It’s Ok Not to be Ok
This is a phrase that is expressed all too often. Only because it stands true. Things can be hard to deal with, and sometimes we need to take time to give our brains the opportunity to heal.